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Quantum backflow and scatteringMarch 14th, 2017

H. Bostelmann, D. Cadamuro, G. Lechner - Phys. Rev. A 96 (1) 012112 (2017)

Backflow is the phenomenon that the probability current of a quantum particle on the line can flow in the direction opposite to its momentum. In this article, previous investigations of backflow, pertaining to interaction-free dynamics or purely kinematical aspects, are extended to scattering situations in short-range potentials. It is shown that backflow is a universal quantum effect which exists in any such potential, and is always of bounded spatial extent in a specific sense. The effects of reflection and transmission processes on backflow are investigated, both analytically for general potentials, and numerically in various concrete examples.